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Plato Cave Revision AS

Friday, May 15, 2009
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Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what might be represented in the Analogy of the Cave by the
1) the prisoners, the shadows, the cave itself, the
outside world, the sun, the journey out of the
cave and the return to the prisoners.

Basically = (although you will need to be able to discuss critically the validity of the points being made in this analogy).

The Prisoners = The ignorant masses

The Shadows = The illusions we take for reality. The shadows are shadows of models rather than real objects. The prisoners are even further removed from reality. The fire, in this case, represents a kind of provisional good, which allows real world objects to be identified; however, this is not the true good, as it only provides enough light for belief.

The Cave itself = The paradigm within which we live - its all an illusion based on fallacy

The outside world = Truth and reality - knowledge for Plato resides in the world of the forms. The real world in Plato’s Cave Allegory corresponds to the world of the Forms.

The sun = The ultimate Good. It can never be directly observed but allows illumination of other things

The journey out of the cave = The painful realisation that what we have taken for granted is not reality

The return to the prisoners= The unwillingness of the majority to have their views challenged. We would rather believe in things that are un real because it is more comfortable.

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